"Hugo baby" glad he's not named after legendary storm

By Jordan Sandler - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As we commemorate Hurricane Hugo's 20th anniversary, we wanted to introduce you to a special story.

It seems in all the chaos of the storm, a child was brought into this world.

The rain was picking up, thousands of people were evacuating their homes, and in Orangeburg, Tripp Till decided to come into the world six weeks early.

"I thought what was the connection, why, why? Because he wasn't due until November," said his mother, Sabra.

As Hurricane Hugo was about to make landfall, Sabra went into labor at Orangeburg Regional Medical Center.

"The nurses at the hospital told me it had something to do with the barometric pressure," said Sabra.

Sabra says right as the doctor was performing a caesarian section, the power in the hospital went out. "I was scared," she recalled.

Tripp has heard the story time and again. The Hugo baby born to sounds of heavy wind and rain has had very little fear ever since. He survived a stroke at age 2, and a few broken bones through childhood.

Now at age 20, the USC sophomore's personality resembles a calm blue sky.

"He's turned out to be a fine young man," said Sabra.

Sabra says when he was born, the nurses encouraged her to name him after the hurricane. She declined -- a decision Tripp is grateful for.

"I'm glad I'm not named Hugo," said Tripp.

In the 20 years since that night, Tripp is humbled by his mother's love.

"I love her and thank her for bringing me into this world," said Tripp.

And Sabra has a 20th birthday wish of her own. "I wish he was still my little baby," she said.

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